The restaurant industry is experiencing dramatic change. Emerging segments, digital and delivery, meal kits, food technology, menu trends in flux, cannabis, labour, mergers and acquisitions, and financing — all of these important themes are having an impact on your industry. Consumers are in control, and their needs are evolving. Getting strategic insight on the changing market has never been so important.
On October 2 at Toronto’s Hyatt Regency, 250 industry executives will come together for Restaurant Realities Redefined. It’s an exclusive event dedicated to revealing deep insights and new opportunities for the restaurant industry.
This much-anticipated event from CWB Franchise Finance and The NPD Group is a fusion of the well-respected Canadian Restaurant Investment Summit (CRIS) and the Canadian Foodservice Summit. It was developed in partnership with The Toronto Stock Exchange and Foodservice and Hospitality magazine.
Get inspired! Discover new trends, explore emerging segments, and network with industry executives at Restaurant Realties Redefined, the premium restaurant event of 2018.
Hear from the industry’s top CEOs
Learn about the 100 fastest-growing restaurants in Canada
Gain new insight about the technology of the food business
Discover the latest on consolidation, financing, and public markets
Explore the innovative, up-and-coming restaurant concepts
Discuss the implications and opportunities of cannabis in foodservice
This must-attend event kicks off the night before with a welcome cocktail reception at the Toronto Stock Exchange. Join CWB Franchise Finance, The NPD Group, Foodservice and Hospitality magazine, and our sponsors for an event you simply cannot miss!
Join us for a Welcome Cocktail Reception
to kick off the event on Oct 1 at 4:30 p.m.
at the Toronto Stock Exchange
130 King St W, Toronto, ON M5X 1J2
370 King Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 1J9
Back by popular demand! Robert Carter and Carman Alison share their perspective on consumer eating patterns both in home and out of home and the macro trends influencing these eating patterns. What areas of the grocery and restaurant market are driving change and influencing trends. Diving deep into NPD’s CREST and Nielsen’s MarketTrack data, Robert and Carman highlight key insights that are shaping todays food industry and driving change into the future.
During this panel discussion with 3 of the industry’s leading authorities on Lending/Finance, Economic Realities and Consumer Spending; hear how today’s Restaurant Brands are evolving their approach to financing base on micro/ macro economics, what are the impacts of rising food costs, tariff wars and rising wages on areas such as menu inflation and how has a strong economy resulted in record consumer debt loads which in turn is influencing consumer spending patterns.
Restaurant brand leaders, retail experts, and landlords discuss the restaurant sector’s position at the center of the retail evolution/revolution. Join leaders from Oxford Properties, owner of Assembly Chef's Hall, and others as they discuss opportunities such as increasing the integration of retail within restaurants. How can landlords creatively deal with the physical, technological, and legal/lease requirements? This is sure to be a lively discussion exploring the impact of the converging restaurant and retail sectors.
“Not enough cooks in the kitchen!” How does your organization deal with the industry-wide labour shortage resulting from explosive expansion and the exodus of operators and culinary talent to other sectors? Join talent acquisition experts and HR leaders from leading restaurants, foodservice operations, agencies, and staffing technology companies as they discuss issues of attracting and retaining top talent in a highly competitive and evolving marketplace.
Foodservice and Hospitality magazine editor/publisher Rosanna Caira moderates a panel discussion with four leading Top 100 CEOs to understand what the industry’s leading companies are doing to innovate and grow their market share. Find out how the key trends of the past year have influenced sales, learn about their success strategies, and discover what operators can look forward to in the coming year.
Then sit back and celebrate success with the presentation of Foodservice and Hospitality's Top 100 Awards.
The technology explosion in Canada’s food sector is just starting to gain traction. In 2017, Canadians spent over $1.8B using food apps. With tech giants such as Amazon and Uber continuing to push into the food space, what does the future of food and technology mean for the foodservice industry and consumers? Hear from innovative food and technology companies such as OpenTable and SkiptheDishes as they discuss the future of consumers’ interaction with technology and how that is changing food-related behaviour. Gain insights on the next wave of food and technology. See how on-demand, convenience, and AI will influence the development of food and technology and the impact they will have on restaurants and suppliers over the next five years.
This session promises to be a candid and engaging conversation with some of the industry's leading movers and shakers. Moderated by Robert Carter, this powerful discussion will cover strategies for innovation and growth in a flat market, unit counts, and the importance of understanding consumer behaviour. Find out what’s on executives’ minds and hear their expectations for the future of foodservice in Canada. What are the hot-button issues they’re watching, and how confident are they in where the industry is headed in 2016?
In a world where three out of four Canadian consumers use social media before making a dining decision, digital and social media represents a huge opportunity for the foodservice industry. Whether it’s identifying and communicating with your customer base, enhancing existing customer experience, launching a new product, or creating brand loyalty, social and digital media should be a part of every savvy operator’s toolkit.
Mobile technology is transforming the way some brands and marketers connect with their target consumers. For foodservice operators, mobile and digital channels can be a welcomed source of disruption, equipping them to do things in entirely new ways. UberEats GM Bowie Cheung will share exciting ways foodservice brands can leverage mobile and digital channels. Discover how to build your brand reputation. Increase sales. Improve customer engagement, experience, and loyalty. And more!
How has consumers' use of restaurants changed over the past decade? Understanding shifting behaviours in specfic consumer segments is critical in the foodservice industry. We'll use segmentation insights to look at some notable current behaviours, including those around habitual lunch and the "better-for-you" trend. This session will reveal consumer behaviour insights that can help you as you develop strategies for innovation and growth.
Not all trends play out in the same way, or with the same intensity, in every corner of the world. In this session we'll look at how changes in today's society drive trends in the restaurant market, specifically throughout Great Britain, Spain, Germany, Italy, France, and Russia. How has the landscape changed in these countries over the past decade? What demographic and social trends are affecting visits to restaurants? What impact do they have on the path to consumption? We’ll review how these trends are similar to or different from Canada.
With forecasts for limited industry growth and continuing visit declines, it’s likely growth will come only from stealing share from competitors. To win in this challenging market, operators and manufacturers – whether focused on QSR, FSR, or fast casual – must devise creative strategies for improving consumers’ experiences, addressing their value perceptions, and focusing on product innovation and menu optimisation. Find out how certain brands in Canada are stealing share, and how to translate their successes to your business. We will also be sharing details around some pitfalls to avoid as they are likely to lead to lost share.
Foodservice and Hospitality editor/publisher Rosanna Caira will moderate this panel featuring the industry’s leading chefs. The focus will be identifying the food trends worth watching right now. Find out what Canadians want in terms of taste, flavour, and ingredients, and learn how leading chefs are winning acclaim for meeting those demands. Healthy foods, convenience, value, homegrown ingredients – consumers’ expectations are evolving. Discover which trends are shaping menus in Canada, how chefs are innovating and interpreting trends on the plate, and what propels these chefs and their restaurants to critical and financial success.
It’s 5:00 – cocktail time! At the conclusion of this insight-filled day, you can meet your industry colleagues and relax a bit at our cocktail hour. Wine for this evening is sponsored by E. & J. Gallo Winery, the world’s largest, family-owned winery and the largest exporter of California wine.
Frank Hennessey was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Recipe Unlimited Corporation in May 2018, bringing more than 30 years of restaurant, food manufacturing, and grocery retail experience. Following several years of organizational growth and change, Frank takes the Recipe helm at a critical and exciting time where his leadership will guide the company through the next levels of transformation, innovation, and growth.
Prior to joining Recipe, Frank was President and CEO of Imvescor Restaurant Group for four years and had great success turning that company around, growing sales and increasing shareholder value. From 2011 to 2014, Frank held the position of President and CEO of Bento Sushi.
Over an 11-year period, Frank held various executive leadership roles at Cara Operations (now Recipe), including Vice President of Purchasing and President of Harvey’s restaurants.
Frank holds an undergraduate degree from Western University and a Master of Business Administration from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.
He is responsible for developing and managing Interac Debit on Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay and on proprietary bank wallets. Prior to joining Interac, Mandeep worked at TELUS and Rogers in product strategy and execution roles.
Richard Southern is an award-winning reporter and has been with 680 NEWS since 2007. His unique take on business news is heard every half an hour during the afternoon drive on 680 NEWS as well as on Rogers radio stations across the country, from Vancouver to Halifax. Richard also hosts the nightly business report on CityNews and is often seen on City's Breakfast Television. In the past he's reported for Primetime Sports with Bob McCown and has been heard on CNN radio.
Richard prides himself on putting a fun spin on business news, making it accessible and interesting to everyone. He joined 680 NEWS as an anchor and reporter. Memorable stories include the August 2008 Toronto propane explosion. Richard was the first to report on the blast and was one of the first reporters on the scene. He's a graduate of Toronto's Seneca College and in his spare time enjoys watching the Blue Jays and travelling.
Rosanna Caira is the editor and publisher of Kostuch Media’s Foodservice and Hospitality and Hotelier magazines. In her capacity as editor of Canada’s two leading hospitality publications, Rosanna directs the editorial and graphic content of both publications, and is responsible for the editorial vision of the magazines, its five websites as well as the varied tertiary products including e-newsletters, supplements, and special projects. In addition to her editorial duties, Rosanna also serves as publisher of the company, directing the strategic development of the Sales and Marketing, Production and Circulation departments. Rosanna is the face of the magazines, representing the publications at industry functions and speaking engagements.
Robert Carter is a highly-respected consumer behaviour industry expert and a dynamic speaker with a passion for tracking trends and consumer activity. Robert is a sought-after and energetic presenter who is regularly recruited to deliver subject matter expertise on consumer behaviour trends, market activity, and operator and retailer performance. A regular keynote speaker at numerous industry events such as The Canadian Coffee Conference, The Canadian Tea Conference, The Connect Show, The Canadian Restaurant Investment Summit, and The Restaurants Canada Show, Robert is frequently quoted in major newspapers and magazines, appears on television newscasts, and writes a regular column for Foodservice and Hospitality magazine.
Ed currently is Senior Vice President of Franchise Finance for Canadian Western Bank, and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the mortgage and asset-based lending business to the hotel and restaurant sectors across Canada for GE Capital Solutions. Ed has over 20 years of experience in the lodging, hospitality, and restaurant industries.
Prior to joining CWB, Ed led GE Capital’s Franchise Finance division for over 12 years. Prior to GE, Ed was Director of a private equity fund for the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (CDP Capital) focused on investing in the leisure and tourism industries. Prior to the Caisse, Ed was with KPMG’s Consulting and Corporate Finance group in Montreal and Toronto focused on the Hospitality and Leisure sectors. Prior to KPMG, Ed worked for Remington Hotels Corp. out of Dallas, Texas as an Asset Manager.
Ed attended McGill University’s John Molson School of Business and Cornell University’s Hotel School of Management, graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce and a Masters of Management in Hospitality respectively.
Jacob currently holds the role of AVP, Restaurants with the Franchise Finance Division of Canadian Western Bank, and oversees all aspects of the restaurant lending business which provides financing for branded restaurant chains and professional restaurant groups on both a corporate and franchisee level. Jacob specializes in portfolio and business development for both national and regional chains.
Prior to joining CWB, Jacob spent 13 years and held several roles within GE Capital’s Franchise Finance division, including 9 years in commercial and business development, 2 years in sales support and operations and 2 years as a credit & structuring manager.
Jacob received his Bachelor of Commerce in Finance from the University of Guelph.
Craig Patterson is the founder and editor-in-chief of Retail Insider, which is Canada’s most-read online retail industry news publication. He is also the Director of Applied Research at the University of Alberta School of Retailing, as well as a research consultant at Retail Council of Canada.
Craig has studied the Canadian retail landscape for over 25 years, and has also been involved with strategy pertaining to urban revitalization in several cities, as well as retail and shopping centre-related design.
He is a graduate of the University of Alberta and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree and Bachelor of Laws degree. He is also on the Board of Advisors for the University of Alberta School of Retailing.
Calum MacDonald is Vice President, Labour Market Intelligence, at Tourism HR Canada, a national organization that works to identify and address labour market issues in the Canadian tourism sector. He leads all research-based activities for Tourism HR Canada, focusing on labour market trends and issues affecting the Canadian tourism industry. He is also a Board member of the Canadian Chapter of the Travel and Tourism Research Association.
Jerrett Young, a graduate of University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Science and an MBA in Hospitality Management (graduating class of 2000), has devoted his education and career to the hospitality industry. An advocate for the importance hospitality plays in our cities, communities and neighbourhoods, he aims to evolve hospitality business practices ensuring that they are current and competitive with other industries.
After a 15-year tenure at acclaimed Oliver & Bonacini as the Vice-President of Operations, Jerrett founded Blueprint Hospitality Inc., a hospitality management firm providing leadership, systems, and tools enabling clients to exceed their own expectations and financial goals. As an investor in the long-standing staffing agency The Butler Did It, Jerrett continues to search for ways to combat the labour obstacles that face our industry.
His primary focus is in Hamilton as the Co-Founder & CEO of Equal Parts Hospitality. With three restaurants, event spaces, and golf courses in the portfolio he works closely with each team member ensuring sustainable businesses practices are implemented and executed and the guest and employee experience is second to none.
Eric Lefebvre joined MTY in 2009 as Vice-President and Controller. He quickly was promoted into the Chief Financial Officer role, which he occupied since 2012. Mr. Lefebvre has played an active role in the steady growth of MTY, from 1,570 locations and an EBITDA of $22 million at the time he joined to approximately 5,700 locations and a projected EBITDA of $130 million in the next twelve months.
Prior to joining MTY, Mr. Lefebvre occupied several leadership roles at Gaz Metro, and Bell Aliant in Quebec and in Ontario. Mr. Lefebvre is a member of the Quebec CPA Order and an MBA from McGill University.
Terry Donnelly is the Chairman and CEO of Hill Street Beverage Company Inc., the only company in North America exclusively focused on the production of world-class, award-winning, cannabis-infused and alcohol-free adult beverages. Their products have won three gold, two silver and two bronze medals for their beer at the world championships, and recently won the first double gold medal ever awarded to an alcohol-free wine at the San Francisco International Wine Challenge, the largest wine competition in the world.
The company recently listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, under the ticker symbol BEER, which he thinks is hilarious and awesome. The company is preparing its brewing and wine-making operations to become a world leader in cannabis infused wine and beer to be available in late 2019 or whenever the government decides to.
Prior to joining Hill Street, Terry was the Canadian CMO for MDC Partners (NASD:MDCA), and a member of their global marketing team. He was responsible for overseeing 16 marketing agencies in Canada, which was like herding cats on the best of days. MDC clients included Google, Samsung, Budweiser, Mastercard, Microsoft, Rogers, and 1500 others. MDC-owned agencies include KBS, Bruce Mau, Gale Partners, Veritas PR, Crispin Porter, 72andSunny, Anomaly, Doner, and 60+ others.
Terry has worked in the marketing business long enough to know better. Prior to joining MDC, Donnelly was Co-Founder & Chairman of Adcentricity, a leading-edge mobile and location-based advertising platform delivering advertising content into over 70,000 retail locations across North America. Before that, he was managing partner at Mandrake for twenty years. He has been a director and officer of 8 public companies and has co-founded or launched 10 start-ups.
He plays keyboards in three bands: a funk band, a Van Morrison tribute band, and an 80’s new wave band. He’s been married to the same woman for 30 years. No one in his family can figure out how that happened. He has three great kids who are now either working in marketing or are in their final years of university. None of them have left home.
Ralph Matlack is Sr. Director of Product Management for OpenTable’s restaurant-facing products where his focus is on enterprise, partner integrations, and new customer onboarding. Prior to OpenTable, Ralph spent 9 years at Intuit leading product teams throughout the small business division spanning areas such as CRM, online marketing, mobile, and payments. Ralph holds a B.S. in Engineering from the University of Michigan, and an MBA from Santa Clara University. In addition to creating great software that helps businesses grow, Ralph loves playing and watching soccer and summer trips to Sweden with his wife and three kids.
For the past 6 years, Jeff has led Skip's restaurant strategy helping restaurants brands both big and small. In 2016, SkipTheDishes was acquired for $200M and has since expanded to over 100 cities across North America. Jeff is absolutely passionate about putting the Canadian tech and restaurant scene on the world stage.
Amy Wasserman is the Senior Director of Marketing, Recreational Cannabis at Canopy Growth. She is responsible for leading the development and execution of all marketing activities for Canopy's suite of owned and partner brands, including Tweed, Leafs By Snoop, FORIA, DNA Genetics and beyond.
Prior to her foray into the burgeoning cannabis industry, Amy teamed up with competitive eSports platform, Virgin Gaming, to oversee the launch of hundreds of online video game tournaments, the build-out of a co-branded app in the Xbox Marketplace, the release of a global subscription service, and the execution of numerous worldwide live video game tournaments. Before Virgin Gaming, Amy worked for sports and entertainment juggernaut, IMG, and was instrumental in establishing owned fashion properties in Canada, including the launch of the Mercedes-Benz Start Up program and Toronto Fashion Week. Amy's roster of clients included Microsoft, Sony, EA Sports, Mercedes-Benz, World MasterCard, ESPN, DHL, Rowenta, Pizza Hut, Dr Pepper, TwitchTV and 2K Sports, to name a few.
Natalie joined Google Canada in late 2015 as Head of Industry for Food, Beverages and Restaurants. Her prior professional experience was rooted in brand strategy, marketing and communications roles in the CPG and retail industries. Natalie spent the majority of her career working at L’Oreal’s Montreal, New York and Toronto offices before joining Indigoin Toronto.
Natalie completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Queen’s University before going on to do her MBA at McGill University. She now serves on the McGill Women, Leadership and Philanthropy board. Natalie resides in Toronto with her husband, Paul, their two boys, Sebastian and Oscar and their French Bulldog, Josephine Barker. In her free time, Natalie loves to run, read, travel and discover emerging contemporary art.
As the Senior Economist for Restaurants Canada, Chris Elliott manages and produces a comprehensive research program that has made Restaurants Canada a leading source of information for and about Canada’s $85-billion foodservice industry. Chris produces a number of member reports that analyze key industry trends and economic forecasts. He also provides research to support Restaurants Canada’s lobbying efforts on issues that affect foodservice operators — from payroll taxes to food costs.
Chris has worked with Restaurants Canada for 19 years, has a Bachelor of Arts and Master Degree in Economics and specializes in economic modeling and forecasting.
Since its founding in 1944, Restaurants Canada has grown to represent 30,000 businesses in every segment of the foodservice industry, including restaurants, bars, clubs, cafeterias, and contract and social caterers. Through advocacy, research, member savings and industry events, we help our members in every Canadian community grow and prosper.
Rebecca is the founder and CEO of Crowns -- a strategic communications consultancy for the global cannabis industry. Crowns is women-led, diverse, data savvy and singularly focused on defining the playbook for cannabis marketing. Rebecca and the Crowns team, made up of strategists, data scientists and creatives, help cannabis companies across North America build business and brand while working effectively inside of regulatory limits. Prior to launching Crowns, Rebecca was head of the social media and content practice at J. Walter Thompson. She is a frequent keynote speaker, awards judge and has contributed writing to Strategy Magazine, the National Post and the Globe and Mail.
Alex Barrotti, TouchBistro CEO & Founder, is a successful serial entrepreneur who has emerged as a visionary in the advanced technologies that help retail and hospitality businesses expand. From a deep understanding of the restaurant industry and the challenges restaurant operators face, Alex launched TouchBistro iPad POS solution (www.touchbistro.com) in 2011. As of today, TouchBistro has helped over 12,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries to increase sales, improve the customer experience, and make better business decisions.
Before TouchBistro, Alex was at the forefront of e-commerce development when he founded INEX in 1997. While others doubted online shopping would one day become the norm, Alex persisted in developing a novel turnkey solution that enabled storeowners to create online storefronts with pre-designed templates. At 29 years old, Alex sold INEX for $45 million.
Susan Senecal is President and Chief Executive Officer of A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. With over 900 restaurants, A&W is the second largest hamburger restaurant chain in Canada and is one of Canada’s leading franchisors.
Having joined the company as an Area Manager in 1992, Susan has since held the positions of Regional Director of Operations, General Manager Quebec, Vice President of Operations and Chief Marketing Officer. In February 2018, Susan Senecal became President and CEO, becoming the fifth CEO in the Company's 62-year history, and the first-ever fully bilingual CEO and woman in the role.
Susan is a Director and Past Chair of Restaurants Canada (formerly the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association). She also serves as a Director of the National Board of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.
Susan holds a Bachelor of Science degree from McGill University. Hailing originally from Montreal, Susan moved out west to Vancouver where she lives with her husband, Francis. They have two grown sons, Matthew and Noah.
Mike Cordoba is a highly active and driven entrepreneur and a founding partner of Empresario Capital Partners. His experience includes managing a portfolio of public and private companies in excess of $1billion in total revenue in various industries including restaurants, retail, manufacturing and processing, and real estate. In his executive capacity, he has built companies from the ground up to become industry leaders in their segments. Mr. Cordoba currently sits on various company boards and is Chair of the Board for Mr. Lube. He is an enthusiastic supporter of many community groups with a personal passion for organizations focused on children’s health and well-being.
Mike is the father of two and is an avid golfer who believes in golf technology hence he has one the largest collections of golf drivers and putters in Western Canada. Mike is a passionate boater and collector of both classic cars and Chicago Bears memorabilia.
Filippo Anselmo has devoted both his education and career to the hospitality industry from the early age of just 9 years old. An advocate for the importance hospitality plays in our cities all across Canadian communities and neighbourhoods, he aims to evolve and grow hospitality business practices ensuring that they are current and competitive with other industries as an expert in the hospitality business in a retail world.
From a young age, Filippo would help with the family business, washing fruit was his first hands on kitchen job where he worked his way through many different BOH positions. From there he began his adventure of becoming the youngest licensee noted in the AGCO at the age of 21. He served a seven year tenure at acclaimed Baton Rouge Restaurants as the General Manager for the Ottawa location. Some of his accomplishments include: building guest counts to over 5000 people a week, out sourcing catering for a children’s day care company serving over three locations which fed over 300 kids daily and building his own catering menu and events.
Filippo has been a hospitality management guru providing leadership, systems, and tools leading his teams to success year on year, and allowing for his assistant counterparts to excel in their training and move down the ladder. Over the past four years, Filippo’s primary focus has been on growing the Canadian market with Nordstrom as Regional Manager. Having been a part of the expansion of 5 out of 6 store openings across the country, he has had a hand in creating and hiring over 600 jobs nationwide. Currently, he oversees 10 restaurants, event spaces, and bars working closely with each team and ensuring each and every guest and employee experience is five-star. His positive and winning attitude has lead him to be successful in all of his endeavors thus far and by saying “yes to the guest” he has had a hand in growing many businesses across the country. Filippo has always made an example of himself and what it means to live and breathe the hospitality gene. He will continue to grow with any new challenge that is thrown his way and with his winning attitude he will never give up.
Laura is an operations specialist with almost 20 years’ experience at brands like Boston Pizza, Starbucks, A&W, and Apple. Currently, she works for Boston Pizza International as a Director of Operations, overseeing over 170 restaurants in the provinces of Alberta and Manitoba. Having spent an additional five years in senior leadership roles with recruitment industry leaders Workopolis and Kelly Services Laura enjoys consulting with franchisees in the areas of talent attraction and retention. She holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Royal Roads University with thesis work that specialized in organizational collaboration in support of franchisee success.
Christian Polge was appointed the Business Unit President for Canada in May 2015. He leads the development and execution of strategic plans that drive value for the community of stakeholders who touch or benefit from the brands of The Coca-Cola Company.
Mark Pacinda is President and Chief Executive Officer of Boston Pizza International Inc. (BPI). He is also Director and Chief Executive Officer of Boston Pizza GP Inc., Managing General Partner of Boston Pizza Royalties Limited Partnership, administrator of Boston Pizza Royalties Income Fund. Mark joined BPI as Executive Vice President in 1997 to lead the company’s expansion into Eastern Canada. He was named BPI President in 2002 and Chief Operating Officer in 2009, overseeing the performance of Canadian operations and managing the executive team responsible for defining BPI’s strategy, objectives and business planning for more than 340 locations across Canada.
Peter White started his career with Dairy Queen in 1991. In his 25 years with the DQ brand, he has seen the company grow in his various roles including with the Operations department as well as working with the Development team. As of March 2013, Peter oversees the Canadian Division as Executive Vice President. Peter is excited to celebrate the brand’s 76th year and its continued focus on delivering the ultimate Fan Experience along with driving franchisee sales and profitability!
Michael Bonacini is a celebrity chef and the co-founder of Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants, recognized as one of Canada’s leading fine dining restaurant companies, operating 12 unique and innovative restaurants in Ontario. Michael trained classically under Chef Anton Mosimann at London’s Dorchester Hotel before immigrating to Canada in 1985, and joining in partnership with veteran restaurateur Peter Oliver in 1993. His first restaurant collaboration with Peter was a New York style bistro named Jump. Nineteen years later, their operations have grown to include à la carte dining, quick service, catering, group dining and special events, as well as an artisan bakery and chocolate shop.
A first generation Canadian, born to Italian parents, Chef Rob Gentile’s earliest memories are from his grandmother’s garden and kitchen, where he soon learned that food was what fascinated him most. When challenged by his mother at age 12 to choose a job that he could love forever, he inherently knew it would need to revolve around food. After working in restaurants from the age of 13, Chef Rob entered George Brown’s Culinary School and joined the kitchen at Grazie in 1998. Soon after, he found his first role in a professional kitchen at North 44. After ten years working in Mark McEwan’s celebrated restaurants, Rob was ready for a new challenge. He was introduced to Peter Tsebelis and Gus Giazitzidis of King Street Food Company and joined them to take the helm of Buca. The restaurant opened in September of 2009 to rave reviews and soon became one of Canada’s most celebrated dining destinations, not to mention its most sought-after dinner reservations.
One of Canada’s most respected chefs and mentors, Alex Chen’s culinary vision is an inspired recipe of family tradition, classical technique and an artful infusion of casual West Coast flair and international influences. Before returning to his hometown of Vancouver to head up the kitchen at Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar, Chen spent six years as executive chef at the legendary Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel and led Team Canada to a top-10 finish at the prestigious Bocuse d’Or in Lyon, France in 2013. More recently, he set the gold standard at the 10th annual Gold Medal Plates competition in Victoria, BC, winning the title of regional champion and the honour of representing the province at the Canadian Culinary Championships in Kelowna in February, where he achieved an impressive podium finish.
From his early years as Canada’s youngest ever, executive chef at Toronto’s upscale Sutton Place Hotel to his latest endeavor, trendy resto bar Fabbrica, Mark McEwan is never content to rest on his laurels.
McEwan has led the restaurant scene in Toronto for many years. He joins the ranks of the truly innovative with groundbreaking Toronto standards from “North 44” to “Bymark” to the always interesting “ONE”, a staple for the “see and be seen” crowd in Yorkville. With “Fabbrica”, he has taken another turn and captivated customers with rustic Italian fare in a warm, yet contemporary setting at The Shops at Don Mills.
Paul Hollands is the CEO and Chairman of privately held A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. as well as CEO of the publicly traded A&W Revenue Royalties Income Fund (TSX – AW:UN). A graduate of the Sauder School of Business, Paul joined A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. in 1981, became Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in 1995 and Chief Executive Officer in 2005. Paul is a recipient of the first class of Canada's national Top 40 Under 40 Leadership Award and was honoured as the BC CEO of the Year in 2015. He is the past Chair of the Faculty Advisory Board of the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia and has served on the Board for almost 10 years. He has been an active leader with St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation for over a decade, first as a Board Member, Chair of the Board and now as a Governor. He served on the Board of the Canadian Restaurant Association for 10 years as a Director and as Chair of the Board.
NPD is the leading global provider of market information and business solutions covering brick-and-mortar, e-commerce, and emerging channels in more than 20 industries. We combine our unique data assets with analytic solutions to help our clients measure performance, predict trends, and improve results, advising them to help drive successful growth. Practice areas include apparel, appliances, automotive, beauty, books, consumer electronics, e-commerce, entertainment, fashion accessories, food consumption, foodservice, footwear, home, juvenile products, mobile, office supplies, retail, sports, technology, toys, travel retail, games, and watches / jewelry. For more information, visit npd.com. Follow us on Twitter: @npdgroup.
The members of the CWB Franchise Finance team are experts in serving leading hotel owners and providing both corporate franchisor and franchisee-level financing for prominent restaurant brands in Canada. We believe in getting to know the operations, opportunities, and challenges of each of our clients so we are able to provide them with customized, flexible financing solutions that will help them achieve their business goals. CWB Franchise Finance is division of Canadian Western Bank.
Foodservice and Hospitality magazine is the authoritative voice of Canada’s foodservice and hospitality industry. Established in 1968, Foodservice and Hospitality has a long history of engaging foodservice and hospitality decision makers — those with the authority to choose or recommend products and services. Foodservice and Hospitality magazine is published 11 times a year and delivers the highest levels of readership to convey your influential advertising messages, to help you develop and launch new product initiatives, and to reach your target audience. Readership — 100,000.
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Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5V 1J9
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NPD account representative,
Erick Bauer, or call 647-723-7736
CWB Franchise Finance account representative,
Jacob Mancini, or call 289-998-0277